For many years connective tissue grafts have been the most common procedure used to treat gum recession. A flap of skin is cut at the roof of the mouth (palate) and tissue from under the flap, called subepithelial connective tissue, is removed and then stitched to the gum tissue surrounding the exposed root.
Many patients are very fearful of gum grafting and avoid treatment because of fear of the palatal donor site. Stories about bad experiences from grafting procedures are often related to the discomfort associated with taking the tissue from the roof of the mouth.
Gum grafting has been greatly refined from older techniques. A minimally invasive surgical technique with minimal surface incisions is used in our office so that the post-operative experience is as pleasant as possible.
There is now an excellent, safe and predictable alternative called AlloDerm. It has distinct advantages over palatal tissue and it eliminates the need to use the palate, therefore the use of AlloDerm prevents potential complications and severe pain from the roof of the mouth and it provides an unlimited amount of tissue so that multiple teeth can be treated at one appointment.
WHAT IS AlloDerm?
AlloDerm is a tissue obtained from a tissue bank. This tissue comes from a person who has died healthy, such as in an automobile accident, then has been extensively tested and approved for organ transplantation. Other tissues, such as bone and skin, are then obtained and processed for future transplantation.
AlloDerm is derived from skin. It has had all cells and blood removed, which precludes rejection of the tissue eliminates the possibility or viral or bacterial presence. The processed tissue is received in a sterile and freeze-dried form. This tissue already has all vessels present, so your body can more easily revascularize the graft and provide blood supply to the graft. Your body will then begin to replace the AlloDerm with your own tissue through normal cell turn over, and after twelve months, it will be completely replaced with your own tissue.
This tissue is used widely in medicine for many applications. Studies have shown that the surgical outcome with AlloDerm, is equivalent to that with palatal tissue. Thus, we can now provide you with the same results, while avoiding the second surgical site.
CLINICAL CASE STUDIES: [Before and After] photos.